The symbol candidate of the local elections is running for Tirana

13 Maj 2023, 22:35Op-Ed Mero Baze

On Sunday, Albania will hold the most politicized local elections ever held in the last thirty years, where the winners and losers are already known and the only competitions are the ones within each of the running parties.

The Socialists, coming from an electoral process without opponents in 2019, are looking to keep as many of the municipalities gifted to them by the opposition as possible. Meanwhile, Sali Berisha and Ilir Meta want to take over the monopoly of the opposition and thus remove the official Democratic Party once and for all from the electoral map.

The political leaders of the Socialist Party in twelve regions are competing against each other as who will appear the most successful, whereas Berisha and Meta are competing against Enkelejd Alibeaj in order to show that he cannot stop them from taking over the opposition.

Therefore, the heroes of these elections are not the candidates who will win, but rather the winners within each party. Perhaps, the only real hero of these elections is a candidate who might come out as the third most voted for the municipality of Tirana and that candidate is Roland Bejko.

Mr. Bejko is the real hero of these elections because he organized a 30 days long campaign of survival without getting a dime from the Democratic Party’s budget. For this the government is to be blamed as it delayed the funds that it was supposed to share with the running parties, but also the zeal of certain people within the Democratic Party, who did what they could to leave Bejko alone and without funds in his battle against Sali Berisha.

With the help of a team of young professionals, made up mostly by academics and journalists, Bejko managed to bring back dignity to the Democratic Party in Tirana by resisting politically against Sali Berisha’s destructive ideology.

Sali Berisha’s and Ilir Meta’s race in Tirana was against Roland Bejko, rather than against Erion Veliaj. However, they lost the battle at the moment when Bejko refused to resign and leave the playfield open to a duo that seeks to usurp the Albanian opposition.

Therefore, it is not important how many votes Bejko will win on Sunday. He has already fulfilled his mission by not surrendering Tirana to two people who do not deserve to run even the remotest areas in Albania. His modest battle is the most important one of these elections and it is precisely because of this that he is being fought by Berisha and Meta. Roland Bejko gave to Tirana’s citizens the right to refuse Sali Berisha and choose a different alternative.

Bejko’s votes are not measured in percentages, but rather how impossible he has made it for Sali Berisha to keep his head up, while giving an alternative to anyone who refuses to hand the opposition over to Sali Berisha and Ilir Meta.

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